In formal comments, OOIDA says e-log mandate not worth the cost, other trade groups supportive of rule

| June 30, 2014

big road elogTrucking trade groups held their formal public comments on the proposed federal electronic logging device mandate until the waning hours of the 90-day comment period, and each of the major ones fell as expected in terms of support or opposition: The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association against, with the American Trucking Associations and Trucking Alliance for.

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The comment period ended June 26. 

OOIDA penned a nearly 50-page comment outlining its opposition the rule, saying there are no devices capable of performing as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration described in its proposal, nor did the agency take enough steps to prevent harassment and coercion of drivers by carriers or others in the industry. 

OOIDA says electronic logging devices, contrary to what FMCSA has proposed in its rule, still rely on drivers to input manually changes of duty status, therefore not increasing hours of service compliance as intended, the group says.

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“While it is true that ELDs can measure an individual’s driving time, those devices cannot determine compliance with the HOS rules any better than paper logbooks. Nor can they determine whether a driver has had an opportunity to obtain restorative sleep in order to eliminate fatigue,” OOIDA writes. 

OOIDA also says the agency’s attempts in the rule to prevent driver harassment and coercion, which derailed the last EOBR mandate in court, again come up short. (Click here to read Overdrive‘s coverage of the rule’s harassment prevention measures.)

Per OOIDA’s comment: “FMCSA’s proposal on harassment is not carefully conceived and provides no effective tools to ensure against harassment. OOIDA is incredulous that FMCSA has put off for another day specific regulations dealing with coercion. The concepts of harassment and coercion are closely intertwined. The pressure put on motor carriers by shippers and receivers to follow unrealistic delivery schedules favors addressing the problems of harassment and coercion comprehensively in a single proceeding.” 

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Lastly, OOIDA says the rule restricts Constitutional rights to movement “without honoring the individual’s due process rights.” Monitoring drivers movement and location with electronic devices without having first court proceedings OK’ing such tracking violates Constitutional protection, the group argues. 

“The proposed rule’s imposition of electronic monitoring is an unconstitutional deprivation of a driver’s freedom of movement. If adopted, the proposed rule would afford truck drivers fewer constitutional protections than the courts currently afford accused sex-offenders under federal law.”

ATA says it is supportive of the rule and disagrees with OOIDA’s note about correlations between ELD use and hours-of-service compliance, saying data shows drivers who use ELDs have better hours compliance. 

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ATA wants a longer grandfather period for carriers who have already switched to older forms of electronic logging devices (like EOBRs) and that it wants the devices to better track vehicle location. Carriers should also be able to make edits to driver logs without driver approval, the group wrote. 

And the requirement for drivers and carriers to keep up to 10 supporting documents for each day the driver is on duty are “excessive and unnecessary,” ATA said in its comment, noting ELDs “all but eliminate” the need for carriers to keep any documents to back up logs. 

The Trucking Alliance —  a coalition of carriers and other industry stakeholders — said in its comment the ELD mandate will be the “most significant change since deregulation,” adding it will reduce compliance violations for carriers and help boost Compliance, Safety, Accountability rankings. 

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Drivers too will have freer schedules, as ELDs “remove the tedious burden of filling out paper logbooks.” 

There’s no set timeline for when the agency will produce a final ELD mandate rule, but it could be several months, if not longer. Congress could attempt to include language in a transportation bill to set a deadline, however, as the Senate recently did in its DOT-funding bill, which would set a Jan. 30, 2015 deadline for the final rule. 

The effective date of the mandate would be two years after the publication of the final rule, so likely late 2016 or early 2017. 

  • Kevin J. Reidy

    Driver gets to shipper. It’s a driver load count or any shorts at the receiver are the responsibility of the driver.

    The driver saves his time by logging the time spent on the dock counting the freight as it gets loaded as Line 1 or 2 instead of Line 4,

    Same deal at the receiver, driver unloads the freight but records that time spent working as off-duty or bunk time.

    Show me how, exactly, a computer can discern what a driver is doing with his time when that vehicle is not moving.

    It can’t.

    Neither can the company or the government, unless they have a camera on that driver 24/7.

    You tell me that a skateboarder or drop-decker logs all the loading/strapping time as on-duty as I need a good laugh.

  • jojo

    Joe, I think your points are valid. I believe that it has a lot to do with your previous point stating that it is hard to get the Drivers to agree on the issues or possible solutions.
    Where would todays Drivers be if not for OOIDA’s efforts yesterday?
    OOIDA is pennies fighting against dollars and I’m thankfull that Drivers such as yourself understand the need for this organization.
    I know that we members can do more than just pay our dues or contribute to the PAC.
    I utilize the compliance team regularly in an attempt to better understand so that I am not

  • jojo

    Esbond, the idea is for you and all other Drivers “To Let Your Voices Be Heard”.
    Big business and safety groups are shouting their demands and expecting results while We Drivers seem to have the attitude that We Can’t Do Anything About It!
    I Can Do Something About It! I’m Going Home To Vote on 11/4/14. This means that I will be taking the week of 10/31/14 thru 11/7/14 off to do so.
    I would encourage you to vote for trucking friendly candidates on 11/4/14 or by absentee ballot. I would ask that you join me by taking at least one day off during the week of 10/31/14 thru 11/7/14.
    Thanks Esbond

  • Suzi North

    did you write to the comment part that was given to us from Overdrive? You have some goods words but I wrote to them and told them that I’m in favor of a strike and just a 3 day shut down would cause the foods stores to shut their doors and cause the back orders back up so much that it would be awful. One week would cause a riot in the streets because people would be looking for food but the gov’t would tell us to go to work ya right. We have the power to bring them to their knees but we have some of the stupid people driving trucks who just do not care. They would bring the Mexicans in to drive for us. Or maybe the Army..oh no that’s right Obama has cut them back too! We have so much power that even the railroad could not even put a dent into the strike. So write the FMCSA and put your feeling on them.

  • jojo

    A three day total shutdown as you suggest would require a large collective organizing effort. There would have to be a leadership team and an agenda that all could agree on and support. To attempt something of this scale we Drivers would need to form some type of organization.
    When I consider that there are 2 to 3 million trucks out here and OOIDA only has 150,000 members I very easily understand that the Drivers are not supporting The Main Organization that is fighting for all Drivers.
    If the Drivers will not stand behind and support OOIDA, How in the heck are they going to to collectively shut the trucks down?
    It is obvious to me that the FMCSA is and will continue to implement policy that treats all Drivers as truck school grads that need to be monitored, controlled and forced to act in ways that may not make the roads safe.
    My truck will not be working 10/31/14 thru 11/7/14 as I plan to cast my ballot on 11/4/14. Even if I am able to absentee vote I will not be working 10/31/14 thru 11/7/14.
    Only when the Drivers take the first step to unite by registering to vote and then following through with phone calls, letters and emails to their elected officials will WE DRIVERS have our Voices heard above the safety groups and corporations.
    If all Drivers were at home casting their ballot on 11/4/14 then I believe that a message would have been sent in more than one way.
    Pat Hockaday jojo859585@gmail.com

  • shadow hauling

    it doesn’t have to be a strike. it can be a sick week with a massive outbreak of a drivers flu that got passed from truck stop to truck stop, probably while taking a 30 minute break. A week off for most of the drivers and this country and people couldn’t pay enough to get it rolling fast again. I bet the regulations would go out the door like they did last winter when they allowed the fuel delivery trucks to run almost non stop.

  • shadow hauling

    I’m with you. I’ll shut down even though my small truck won’t make much difference I won’t run then. Way back when, memory’s not too good, maybe 79-80 strike, I was working for a company of 8 trucks and I didn’t run then even though the owner threaten to fire ( he didn’t) . I’ll support any trucker that wants to shut down and if I’m on the road when it happens, I don’t or won’t cross any line and more than likely will stop and join you.

  • sthomas1957

    The carriers want the ability to “edit the logs”? What the hell does this mean? What’s the point of having e-logs if the big carriers can just go in there and edit them as they wish? How does FMCSA even know if they’re compliant?
    And what’s the point of having e-logs if you’re still required to have backup paper logs, too? Kind of negates any benefit for the driver, don’t you think?

  • stan

    The public will only what the politians say and that’s only to further their career, nothing more. Bet dollars to dounuts the energy drink is loving the fact drivers under elogs are trying to beat the clock and drinking the hell out these drinks. In the past yr alone the severity of accidents has actually been worst not better. These drinks cause kidney damge over time,the stress alone to get to pu/ del has encreased,we are actually an 80,000 lb bomb with tired drivers being pressured by the carriers to del and yes to make us more productive, read the trucker news that comment was in ther

  • McGruff

    They’ll put weight sensors under mattress in bunk. They’ll put similar sensors in the driver’s seat.

  • Mind Games

    This is about liability and allowing the company or hell even the DOT the ability to edit logs because all systems have a backdoor the driver can be set up to be the fall guy.

  • mike gamble

    Hell we dont log half of the loading time

  • http://batman-news.com Magilla

    The cameras are already here in some company trucks that haul there own products .

  • http://batman-news.com Magilla

    The company I drive for just put elogs in the trucks and I have become the guy trying to beat the clock and it sucks . I fuel as fast as I can and go through the parking lot in 10th gear lookin for a spot to park . I don’t talk to the customers any more cuase the clocks tickin and I don’t have the time . I’m lookin at the clock and constantly figuring can I make it to this truck stop or will I have to cut my day short 50 miles cuase I can’t make it . I can show anything I want as far as on or off duty at the customer as long as I don’t have the PTO running and for post or pre trip they still don’t know if you do it or not hell all you gotta do is set in your truck for 15 mins and then just inter whatever you want . The other night I forgot to show going in the sleeper ( some dumb bastard in DC will think I realy set in the seat all night ) so now I do my post trip and then punch sleeper berth . So just because it’s electronic and not paper it’s makin me a safer driver , no it’ll make me a worse driver cause I’m playing be the clock .
    The only thing this is going to do is keep me from driving more than 11 hrs or past 14 . I can make good money drivin legal but I could make more cheating 15 min here or there and help get loads covered , so boss now you can tell the customer why I’m late or not going to make it at all . I was always 30 to 45 mins early to customer cuase I don’t like being late now I’m a just in time driver cuase I don’t want my 14 ticking away . I have my favorite truck stops that some I won’t be able to make it to by 10 or 15 minutes now . I like 3000 to 3500 miles a week so I’m going to be pissed if I can’t get them . I drive a truck because I love it , I, there are no jobs that I can make the same kind of money near home

  • TacoBill65

    Big Brother Says! ” I see YOU””

  • Gary Hull

    When will FMCSA look at the connection between ELD and bad driving decisions, like happened in the New Jersey Wal Mart Accident. A Driver looks at the ELD, how much time to I have left. He looks at GPS… How far to where I want to park. Has enough time unless something goes wrong. It does, Construction, He must maintain his speed to get stopped on Time. (Run over hours too many nd you are fired
    I am guessing but I bet that is close to what happened to the WalMart Driver.

    Why do I say this.
    1. WalMart trucks simply do not speed. You very seldom see an officer behind a WalMart truck. Why, The officer knows he is wasting his time. The truck and the driver will be right.
    2. When I was a subcontractor with WalMart, they wanted the driver to be in control of his schedule. If you needed to stop they wanted you to stop. However, in that day if we stopped for a nap, we would not loose money on the day’s work, It was just done a little later. today it is a lose.

    So when will we ask, if the interaction with all the electronics in our truck will cause, through the normal thought process, drivers to make bad decisions.

    If a driver is on paper logs and something unexpected happens he can slow down, get the job done safely, and write it up legal, and everyone goes home alive.

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